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10 Things I Learned From Completing Nanowrimo – 50,000 Words

I think Chiang Mai has a special atmosphere as I have tried to enroll and write 50,000 words before for Nanowrimo, but I have never been able to complete them with such ease as this time around. The words just flew out of me onto the page as if they had been waiting for decades. I’m so excited to share the story I have written with the world, and let them enter the magical world that I have created for them to enjoy for a few hours.

In my quest to complete 50,000 words at 1,667 words a day, I have learned a lot about myself, and some about writing. I wanted to share that with you. I hope some of what I have learned will help you in your own writing, and also, maybe prod you to start writing consistently as much as possible.

Slow And Steady Wins The Race

Seriously, how many times have you heard the saying above in your short life? I bet you it has been at least half a dozen times if not more. You don’t realize the power of being slow and steady until you take on something as big as writing a book of 50,000 words or more. When I sat down on November 1st to write my 1,667 words, I wasn’t thinking about the monumental task of writing 50,000 words. I just looked at the small task in front of me. All I had to do each day was write my 1,667 words. Chunking a huge task into such a small one really helped me keep going. I didn’t worry about how I would get to 50,000 words. I just worried about doing my words each day.

Write Only 1,667 Words – Not More, Not Less

I also didn’t write more than 1,667 words each day. I kept it consistent as much as possible. This ensured that my brain and my body got into a sort of rhythm of writing. I didn’t have to worry about writing more words one day, because I missed yesterday. I just ensured I did my words every single day. I didn’t miss a single day. That meant that I was consistent, and I never fell behind. I knew if I missed even a single day, I would lose the rhythm and habit that I had built into my life.

28 Days To Build A Habit

This is an interesting thing that I didn’t realize beforehand, but it takes 28 days for an individual to build a habit into their routine. Nanowrimo is a 30-day habit that you build over time, so that after Nanowrimo, I felt odd if I didn’t sit down every single day to write my words. I didn’t stop after the end of November. I kept this beautiful habit that I had built into my repertoire with me for days and months to come. It took me a while to build the habit, so why would I give it so up easily? With this habit, I’m hoping to write several books a year easily and effortlessly at the slow and steady rate of 1,667 words per day.

Don’t Worry About The End Result Of Publishing

Every few days, someone would ask me ‘Are you going to publish your book?’ That question would send my mind into a sort of frenzy and I felt scared for a few moments. What if no one likes my book? What if I’m a crappy writer and no one ever reads these words? I always had to stop myself. I would tell myself these two things: 1. I’m writing this book for me. Even if I’m the only reader, I’m having so much fun with it, that the act of writing is absolutely worth every moment. 2. I can always publish on Kindle and see how it goes. It is the easiest way to publish something, and if nothing else, there are a few people on my friends’ list that would definitely read the book. ย This way, I consoled myself and stayed true to my goal of writing a few words every day.

Focus On The Process And The Journey

This is an important point to make. Each word that you put down on paper is important. Each time you beat the demons in you head and stay true to your goal of writing words, you are further ahead. The words you put down on paper don’t really matter as much as the fact that you have beat the demons in your head to be the bold, courageous one again. The act of being creative is hard. Each word is you telling the world, I’m brave, I’m bold, and I’m going to keep on going even if everyone else is against me. The process of writing and getting words onto paper is the important aspect of it all – everything else is moot.

Have A Lot Of Fun With It

I had so much fun with the act of writing my words everyday; I actually started looking forward to it. I created a whole new beautiful world with my writing, and even if I was the only reader of the book, I knew I had kept myself entertained throughout. It was one of the funnest things I have done in a long while. In the past, I had started looking at writing as a sort of chore, a mindless boring chore. But writing a few words each day with the idea of fun in mind, made it come alive again. I’m a writer again, and I love it so much, I have no words to describe the joy of it all. I want you to experience this joy as well. Write and have fun with it. Don’t worry about who will like it or who will read it. Remember, this is just for you.

Don’t Worry If The Story Makes You Sound Crazy

Several times whilst writing the book, I felt like I was high on LSD or some other drug, even though I was absolutely sober. Iย wrote the every word that came into my imagination. If there was a big worm that I dreamt about that night, I wrote about it. If I saw a blue motorcycle while writing, I incorporated it into the book. I kept with the flow and just wrote as much as possible without censoring. My writing kind of reminds me of Dr. Seuss and the crazy worlds he created. I think he is definitely my hero as he doesn’t let the censor beat him. He just put down on paper what he felt like writing, the world be damned. Be like Dr. Seuss.

Rejoice Every Time You Hit A Landmark

That’s one thing Nanowrimo does really well. It celebrates the small wins. Whenever I hit 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, and 50,000 words, Nanowrimo sent me a little message telling me how great I am. That was really nice to hear. Even if it was a small deal to the world, to me it was a big deal. I had written words before, but never had I continued with one story to its fruition. That was a win to me, and I wanted to celebrate it. And I did celebrate it. I bought myself little gifts, and gave myself massages as presents to celebrate my ongoing success. I cared about myself and it showed up in my writing.

I Told Everyone I Was Writing A Book

I like to keep everything close to my heart and never share anything that is going on with me. But this time, I told everyone I am writing a book, and I am doing Nanowrimo. The constant support that this resulted in really boosted me. Everytime, I told people that I have written 25,000 words, or I’m at 42,000 words, I just felt this joy of accomplishment that made me feel so much ecstasy. I am so proud of myself every single day that I have written so many words, and I pay myself on the back every time I think about it. It isn’t a small feat, and I celebrate everyday that I have accomplished it.

No Pressure, Just Words

Everyone wants to know, am I going to publish my book, am I going to look for a publisher, am I going to go on a book tour, am I…. These are all useless questions to ask. Whatever will happen, will happen. I can’t control it, nor do I want to. I am enjoying the act of putting down words on paper. That is all this is to me. Every day, I sit down and write words on paper related to the world I am creating. That’s all I’m doing. I’m not writing a book, or I’m not creating money, or I’m not working for a publisher, or my future readers. All I’m doing is writing words. Words matter. Each word I write down matters. Nothing else does.

Bonus Point – The Final Stretch Is The Hardest

I was quite enthusiastic throughout the 30 days, but I did notice that my attention waned at the end. It was so hard for me to write the final 5,000 words. All of my excuses came up in the final hour. “What is the point of writing this book? It’s not going to be published anyways. I should focus my time on something more useful.” And so much more. I felt distraught, unmotivated, and sad. Finishing something is the hardest thing out there. We start out enthusiastically, but finishing takes up so much more mental strength. Nanowrimo really taught me about finishing in a big way. I realized how many excuses I actually come up with when I am finishing projects. I am sure the same happens in my entrepreneurial projects as well.

Conclusion

I absolutely recommend this act of writing a few words every single day to every person on this planet, especially if you consider yourself to be a writer. Focus on each word, and not the whole; focus on the fun, and not the gain; focus on the love of it all, rather than the fame and fortune. I implore you to build writing into your daily habit ritual. Every morning, I would wake up and write my words. Sometimes I wrote them late at night as my day was busy with travel and stuff. But every day, I would sit on my laptop, and write my words.

I used blankpage.io to write my words. I absolutely recommend this to you, if you are interested. There are so many softwares out there to write. The software doesn’t matter. The words matter. Each word matters. Each time you sit down to write the words matter.

I’m going to keep this habit with me forever I hope. It has changed me from the inside out. I love myself more because I was able to accomplish this act of finishing a book. I’ll publish my book soon and I’ll definitely share it with you. Let me know what you think of it.

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